TOP 10 WAYS TO GET YOUR PREACHER TO QUIT

Have you ever wondered why some ministers move an average of every two years? Or why are more ministers getting out of full-time ministry than there are getting in to it? I’ve got a few ideas that might help answer those questions. Here are 10 things you could be doing that might make your minister want to quit.

1 – Never encourage him. Just expect him to know he’s doing a good job, there’s no real reason to tell him. Besides it may inflate his ego.

2 – Never pray for him. Don’t include him and his family in your daily prayers.

3 – Be critical. Being critical of the preacher and his family really won’t hurt anyone, including the preacher’s family.

4 – Never volunteer to help when he asks. Surely someone else can do it OR he can do it himself. Besides that’s what we pay him.

5 – Send him mixed messages. Tell him he needs to be spending more time in the office and less in the community and then have someone else tell him he needs to be spending more time in the community and less in the office.

6 – Make sure he knows he’s not as good as the last preacher.

7 – Never expect him to take any time off. When he does make him feel guilty about it.

8 – Expect his wife and children to be perfect. You should always expect more from his family than other families, AND they’ll never make mistakes.

9 – Expect him to work 80 hours a week.

10 – Make sure you see him as someone who is hired to do a job and not a co-worker in the ministry.

Can you add anything to this list?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
44 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Brian Nicklaus says:

    a wise preacher in jersey told me that he once gave his congregation a survey about what the preacher’s responsibilities should be…

    and no one individual expected the preacher to work more than 40-50hours a week, but all the responses combined (since some expected him to study 20 hours and others expected him to do visiting 20 hours) would have been an 80 hour week

  2. Jeff Slater says:

    Good stuff, Trey. I’m going to link to it from my Blog.

  3. Lisa Leichner says:

    Okay, now that others have commented, I can leave one too. :) I think I’m pretty much following Brian around this morning. It’s a unique situation to be employed by so many people, isn’t it? It makes it difficult for both sides to know what should be expected. I think something that Wade T. said once that stuck with me is that preachers hear the praise & elders hear the complaints about the preacher, so I’ve tried to make a bigger effort to tell both the preacher and the elders of my praise for the preacher. It angers me when someone says something along the lines of, “have the minister do it, we pay him to do what the rest of us don’t have time to do.” UGH!!

    I’m not sure about your #8, though. It’s not so hard for a preacher’s wife & children to be perfect, is it?!

  4. Minister Medlock says:

    Do you think that there is a different between pre-dominantly black and predominantly white churches in this respect? I am black and have applied in the past to mostly white churches. The impression I got is that I would have a lot of bosses with those churches. Black churches are not that way. With elders or not, black churches seem to respect preachers more and they have longer tenure.

  5. Trey Morgan says:

    Brian … excellent point. 80 hours for a guy that only works 1 day a week would be tough… ha

    Jeff, Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the link from you site. Looks like you are a NASCAR too.

    Lisa … what more could I expect from a preacher’s daughter! ha

    Minister Medlock … thanks for stopping by. As for comparing predominatly black churches to white churches, I’m not sure I could give you an answer. But I’m interested in your conclusions and thoughts on that subject. It would be nice to hear more on that discussion.

    Blessings

  6. Liz Moore says:

    How about…

    Never expect your preacher to have fun. After all, he was hired to work.

    I think sometimes people fail to realize that preachers are just people like us. They put on their pants the same way we do, one leg at a time. They have just been blessed with a special God given talent. Maybe if we realize they are just like us, we wouldn’t as often put them up on pedestals so high they are surely to fall off.

    May God Bless every preacher out their for the work you do for His kingdom. May you all be lifted up in thanks and praise to the Father more than you are criticized. Blessings.

  7. preacher's wife says:

    Fallacy #1 – Preachers are employees of a church.

    Some questions preachers should ask up front before accepting a position. This is the first one:

    Do you consider the preacher to be a) an employee of the church or b) a servant of God?

    “Both” is a wrong answer. Don’t even think twice. Thank them for their time, get up, walk out, don’t look back, and move on to the next place.

    Fallacy #2 – The preacher’s wife is a free employee of the church.

    Neither is it a two-for-one deal. They don’t get the pastor’s wife as a free employee, either. (This would fall under “10 Ways to Get the Preacher’s Wife to Leave Her Husband”.)

  8. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey –
    Are you trying to depress me or cause me to be the Snark again today? James is laying on the bed right now vegging from the stress of Sundays, and mostly his master’s class that was an additional expectation of our church that they don’t understand why he has to spend so much time on. Actually, I think you just listed the 10 reasons he has to veg for a while on every Monday morning. He will be back in the trenches by noon so no one alert the authorities – he’s not gone AWOL yet.

    Minister Medlock –
    James would substitute preach in a black congregation in Hobbs, NM that was the most encouraging group I had ever seen. He spoke 10 x’s better because they were with him amening him on and not making him want to say “Hello walls” or “Come up out of prayer”. I have also seen people give testamonies in black churches that were repentive, or inspirational. As a matter of fact, do you know of any black churches looking for a very white minister?
    Preacher’s wife – Amen.
    Interesting list for a Monday morning…
    Kathy

  9. Brian Nicklaus says:

    minister medlock
    my congregation is fairly evenly mixed ethnically, and I notice that difference in the church. I also have contact with congregations in the area that are predominantly black, one church that is predominantly white but with a black minister.

    I have see that there are two different styles/models. I don’t know if it is perpetuated more by the “clergy” or by the members.

    I think there might be a balance somewhere in between a traditional white church and a traditional black church.

    i have known predominantly black congregations where the minister has all the power and functions more or less like a pastor in the denominational sense.

    good question, and something all of us should think about…

  10. Brian Nicklaus says:

    trey
    yeah, we only work one day a week, but that means we techinically only get two days vacation per year

    and by the way, I drop down from a ledge into my pants so as to put on my legs at the same time, that’s the life of being a Holy Man of God.

    fellow monday vegger

  11. Ancient Wanderer says:

    trey-
    How about-
    “Don’t block ‘Churches Seeking Minister’ sites on the church computer.”

    Brian-
    pants?

    AW

  12. Trey Morgan says:

    Preachers wife – My wife asked me to tell you, “amen, sister.”

    I think maybe we could use a “preacher’s wife” post!

    Brian, thanks for kicking in on the discussion that Minister Medlock brought up!

  13. Brian Nicklaus says:

    of course I meant to say, pants leg at the same time,
    my legs are not detachable…

  14. The Preacher's Household: says:

    If you are an acitve member in the congregation, move. I hate losing the help. Do you find yourself saying,’why couldn’t (insert the name of an inactive/unsupportive member) have moved instead’.

    Snark’s husband

    And yes I am back in the ditch, oh I mean trench.

  15. Ancient Wanderer says:

    Minister Medlock-
    I preach at a very (as the world would say) diverse congregation. In this area we still have unfortunately those who call themselves “predominately this” and “predominately that” and in those who desire to be predominately “black Christians” there seems [seems] to be more respect but then lack of financial support exposes that the respect doesn’t get too far past the front doors of the church building.

    The predominately white congregations for the most part pay better but make up for it by making the preacher “pay” in ways that Trey has given in this post.

    It balances out that preachers still need to ‘called’ and not hired no matter what the Lord’s congregation looks like where you serve Him.

    AW

  16. Royce Ogle says:

    You might enjoy this old post of mine a few months ago.

    http://gracedigest.blogspot.com/2006/08/wanted-gospel-preacher-being-curious.html

    Cut and paste into your browser.

    Grace and Peace,
    Royce Ogle

  17. Trey Morgan says:

    Thanks Royce I’d love to check it out.

    Hey Brian, isn’t that just like AW to point out your unattacked legs? ha

  18. Minister Medlock says:

    It is the most noble of professions to be a gospel preacher. You clearly have to know who you are and whose you are as well.

    I have an advantage in that my Father was a minister for over 25 years before his untimely death in 2000. So I had an inkling as to what I was getting into.

    I appreciate the responses, everyone. Godspeed to you all.

    Pat M

  19. Brian Nicklaus says:

    for the record

    my legs are attached
    they have not been attacked
    I was joking originally, so I actually do put my pants on one leg at a time…

  20. Trey Morgan says:

    Minister … glad you came our way, brother. Interesting discussion.

    Brian … glad you cleared the “leg” think up. I was a little concerned

  21. lisa leichner says:

    At least it’s hard to make typos from the pulpit. 😉

  22. Bob Bliss says:

    Trey,
    There is a email list serve for preacher’s wives. My wife is on it. I believe it’s called “Kindred Spirits.” She found it quite helpful while we were looking. I can’t really tell you much more about it but will ask Pat about it later when she gets home.

    Is this a venting post or just something you thought about and had to get it out? You are really bringing me down, brother. Seems like the Animals had a song called Don’t Bring Me Down. I’ll have to check into that.

  23. Brian Nicklaus says:

    ELO sang “don’t bring me down”

    the beatles, of course, sang, “Don’t let me down.”

    I had an animals greatest hits, that title sounds vaguely familiar.

  24. Bob Bliss says:

    Brian here are the lyrics by The Animals. One of my favorites by them.

    When you complain and criticize
    I feel I’m nothing in your eyes
    It makes me feel like giving up
    Because my best just ain’t good enough
    Girl, I want to provide for you

    And do all the things that you want me to, but

    Oh! Oh no, don’t bring me down
    I’m beggin’ you darlin’
    Oh! Oh no, don’t bring me down

    Sacrifices, I will make
    I’m ready to give as well as take
    One thing I need is your respect
    One thing I can’t take is your neglect
    More than anything, I need your love
    Then troubles are easy to rise above

    Oh! Oh no, don’t bring me down
    Oh, no no no no no
    Oh! Oh no, don’t bring me down

    You complain and criticize
    I feel I’m nothing in your eyes
    It makes me feel like giving up
    Because my best just ain’t good enough
    Girl, I want to provide for you
    Do all the things that you want me to, but

    Oh! Oh no, don’t bring me down
    No no no no no no no
    I’m beggin’ oh no, don’t bring me down
    Oh no no, baby

    Please! Oh no no, don’t bring me down
    I need your tender lovin’
    So please, don’t bring me down
    Oh, baby baby baby don’t hurt me
    Don’t bring me down
    Oh no, please don’t bring me down ….

    Please baby, don’t bring me down
    You know I need you, oh woman
    You can’t do that to me, because, ’cause I love you
    Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, please, I need you ….

  25. Trey Morgan says:

    Brian … you are the man on songs. Wasn’t the ELO “don’t bring me down” song about some guy name “Bruce?”

    You know… “Don’t bring me down … Bruce.”

    ha

  26. Bob Bliss says:

    Brian here are the lyrics to ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down.

    You got me runnin’ goin’ out of my mind,
    You got me thinkin’ that I’m wastin’ my time.
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

    You wanna stay out with your fancy friends.
    I’m tellin’ you it’s go to be the end,
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down.

    What happend to the girl I used to known,
    You let your mind out somewhere down the road,
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

    You’re always talkin’ ’bout your crazy nights,
    One of these days you’re gonna get it right.
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down,grroosss
    Don’t bring me down.

    You’re lookin’ good just like a snake in the grass,
    One of these days you’re gonna break your glass.
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

    You got me shakin’ got me runnin’ away
    You get me crawlin’ up to you everyday,
    Don’t bring me down,no no no no no,
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down.

  27. donna says:

    I thought it was Bruce too!

  28. Bob Bliss says:

    Sorry Trey for clogging your comment section. I felt a little silly tonight. Here are the correct lyrics for ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down. It is about Bruce.

    You got me running going out of my mind
    You got me thinking me that I’m wasting my time

    {Refrain}
    Don’t bring me down
    No, no, no, no, no, ooh ooh
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down

    You want to stay out with your fancy friends
    I’m telling you it’s gotta be the end

    {Refrain}

    {Bridge}
    Don’t bring me down, Bruce
    Don’t bring me down, Bruce
    Don’t bring me down, Bruce
    Don’t bring me down

    What happenned to the girl I used to know
    You let your mind out somewhere down the road

    {Refrain}

    You’re always talkin’ ’bout your crazy nights
    One of these days you’re gonna get it right

    {Refrain, Bridge}

    You’re looking good just like a snake in the grass
    One of these days you’re gonna break your glass

    {As refrain}
    Don’t bring me down
    No no, no no, no no, no no, no, ooh ooh
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down

    You got got me shaking, got me running away
    You got me crawling up to you every day

    {Refrain}

    Down, down, down, down, down
    I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    Don’t bring me down
    {Thud}

  29. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I think that Brian’s attacked unattached legs are the funniest things I have read about in the blogosphere. Thank you for making me laugh. And Bob, you don’t strike me as the type to know that song. You are silly tonight.

    I know one thing, I am going to lay my head down tonight and thank God for each one of you – you’re special people. Thanks for letting me be part of your world.
    Kathy

  30. Bob Bliss says:

    Kathy, to which song are you referring? The one by The Animals or the one by ELO? I was in a rock band (or better garage band) from 8th grade through 12th grade (1966-1971). We played the song by The Animals – it’s one of my favorite by them. I know the song by ELO but they were never a favorite band.

  31. Trey Morgan says:

    Bob, you and Brian know your music well. I’ve never heard the animals song, but ELO’s song I remember well. I always wondered who Bruce was. Have you noticed we’ve gone from “Making your Preacher Quit” to songs by the Animals and ELO. Isn’t that just like a bunch of preachers to go off chasing rabbits? Maybe I should through something in here about 350 Chevrolet engines. Might fit well.

    As for Kathy, thanking God for being part of (as she called it) our little world, maybe we should ask the Lord to forgive us for pulling her in! ha

  32. lisa leichner says:

    Oh, Kathy, I could tell you a story or two about my ol’ Dad, silly stories and stories about music. He does know his music. It shamed me that he knew my generation’s music almost as well as he knew his own, and certainly better than I knew either.

    I echo your prayer of thanksgiving for the people in this little world, Kathy, as well as for you! I’ve loved getting to know you! Trey, no forgiveness is needed, IMHO.

  33. Neva says:

    Interesting comment-versation. I have enjoyed it–Trey, to add to your list how about, show up at his house with a mob carrying torches and pitchforks?
    :)
    Peace
    Neva

  34. Bob Bliss says:

    Trey,
    Another song to add to the mix here. If you want your preacher to leave: “I want it all and I want it now!” (by Queen).

  35. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I was born in 1971 in a house that was country when it wasn’t always cool. If you want Bob Will, Johnny Paycheck, Barbara Mandrell…. I can more likely sing it for you. Don’t get me started on Hee Haw.

    So can I sum this ways to make preachers leave by singing, “Bloom, despair and agony on me…”
    Kathy

  36. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I am almost ashamed to admit my wife would make such a corney joke. But she might have been trying to be optomistic. Although, she admited she does get confused about words and their meanings. She also mixes metaphors. But, She is my nut.

    James

  37. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Kathy and I got to discussing Bob’s Queen reference. My initial thought was “Im just a poor boy, from a poor family”. Fits! My pk’s could sing it too. On the poverty note some preacher might sing “I like to ride my bicycle …”. “We will Rock you” might be on subject as well, symbolically or not so symbolically stoning the preacher. Another way to discourage the preacher,after the sermon come up and say, “All we hear is radio gaga radio gogo”. And probably the best known, you might drive the preacher away by the congregation singing to the minister “We are the champions” and taunting the preacher, “no time for loosers, …”.

    James & Kathy
    (Ask me if I will confess to listening to Queen. This was Kathy’s idea.)

  38. Bob Bliss says:

    I graduated in 1971 having grown up in a country household listening to Johnny Cash, Duane Eddy, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Hank Williams, and the like. I was a rock & roll guy and for punishment (which was about every other day) my Dad made me memorize lyrics to country songs. “I feel into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire.” But today that is still one of the best songs around. What a voice he had.

  39. Trey Morgan says:

    I’m an 80’s child… I was just a decade later …. 80’s music was great!

  40. lisa says:

    I’m not going to make you all feel old by saying when I was born. :) But I will say that I don’t know if it’s because I’m too young or because I don’t know much of the genuine country music, but I don’t know half the people y’all listed in the last few comments.

  41. Trey Morgan says:

    Don’t feel bad Lisa … I don’t know anything about Country music.

  42. Trey Morgan says:

    AW (Don) … just went back are re-read through some posts. I like the “blocking internet preaching sites” thought. too funny

  43. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey,

    Kathy was born after you and she said you have to know “We will Rock You”.

    James

  44. Trey Morgan says:

    Oh yea… Queen was one of my favorite groups….

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Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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